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Sharing thirty years' experience as a Zen practitioner and teacher, Hamilton offers a variety of practical tools for Zen training to a wide audience. By practising to "untrain our inner parrot", we learn to quiet down - and not take so seriously - ongoing habitual mental chatter. In addition to helpful techniques for learning Zen practice, the author also presents what's at the heart of Zen - waking up to one's daily experience - in a clear, accessible, lighthearted, and humorous style. It's a usable manual for exploring and establishing a beginning sitting practice and includes simple instructions to clarify and elucidate the basics such as: how to develop physical, mental, and emotional awareness of one's mind and actions; how to experience "open" awareness - the objectivity of observing oneself in practice while allowing for a sense of spaciously accommodating whatever occurs; and how to understand and experience the esoteric Zen concept of full-empty awareness - a full appreciation of the primordial nature of all, which is the result of meditation.
Elizabeth Hamilton teaches and lives at the Zen Center of San Diego with her husband and practice partner, Ezra Bayda. She leads retreats and Zen programs throughout the United States and Hawaii, Australia, and Canada, including leading a retreat with Pema Chodron and Ezra Bayda at Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She has published numerous articles and dharma teachings under the pen name M. T. Head.